This week I decided to look back through my social media and find an old photo… not too old, just from last year. I wanted to show an image of me with two of my dearest friends at the church where we all grew up together. Brian, Kimberly and I all met probably somewhere around first grade while attending catechism classes at Guardian Angels Church. We didn’t attend the same grade school or high school, and all took different paths as young adults, but our friendships remained in tact and we had an unwritten law to support each other through any phase of life. (Fun fact, Brian's Father-in-law hired me at the Santee Chamber of Commerce!)
I am eternally grateful for these gifts given by one of Santee’s local houses of worship. Guardian Angels recently joined our Chamber, among many other churches who are members at our organization (Riverview, Sonrise, Pathways, Rise City and New Heights to name a few). It doesn’t always dawn on me that churches have to operate like a small business; I see them as non-profits and forget their income doesn’t magically generate from sales. Much like Chambers (also non-profits), we too have to not only represent a large demographic, but have to run like a smart business and constantly work hard to stay profitable often producing large scale community events to help build revenue. There isn’t much mystery in the non-profit world that it’s tough to stay afloat. The ebb and flow of financial security is what keeps me up at night and also what brings out some of our best work as an organization, creating relationships worth their weight in gold.
This weekend, I invite you to help a local non-profit. Not the Chamber, not because you necessarily attend church at this place, not because you feel obligated. Visit Guardian Angels for their annual Fall Festival this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Be there as a representative of our town and enjoy the decades-long tradition of their games, food, entertainment, craft booths, live auction, raffle, beer garden and most importantly, friendly people. Take your family, meet up with old friends, make some new ones… my participation may have changed from practically living there over the weekend as a kid, to barely making it onsite in time to see my closest friends as an adult, but I know for certain I always leave with a smile on my face knowing I can count on those good feelings being there for me year after year.